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Apple Daily: Universal Search on Next Apple TV; Apple May Reveal ‘iPad Pro’ Next Week

More specific details about the devices we’ll probably see at Apple’s media event next week continue to roll in from alleged insider sources, which at this point means that Apple CEO Tim Cook could just walk on stage and show that the devices exist and his work would be done. Today’s rumors claim that the next Apple TV will have a universal search feature and come with a black remote, and that we’ll finally get to see the “iPad Pro” after months of rumors.

Next Apple TV Said to Support Universal Search Feature

The latest batch of rumors regarding the Apple TV came in this morning from both Buzzfeed and 9to5Mac. In Buzzfeed’s report, insider sources revealed that the device will start at 9 (in line with previous rumors) and support a universal search feature that will let users search for media through third-party services such as Netflix in addition to iTunes. As for 9to5Mac’s sources, they claim that the device will contain somewhere between 8 and 16 GB of storage, and that the long-rumored touchpad remote will be black instead of the current silver.

Farewell, Silver

According to the “sources familiar with Apple’s plans,” the Cupertino company expects that the universal search feature will be a “cornerstone” of the new set-top box. What’s more, the search feature won’t limit users to titles, but will also allow them to search for media based on directors, actors, or a number of other “targeted searches.” Even better, you’ll be able to do all this through Siri.

All this comes on top of all of the other information we “know” about the device, such as how it’ll come with an A8 processor and its own App Store, which is widely expected to contain games in addition to the core streaming services. Additional rumors claim that the device will support lightweight motion controls that resemble those currently found on iOS devices.

 

Apple May Reveal ‘iPad Pro’ and New iPad Mini at Next Week’s Event

Apple’s September 9 event is shaping up to be very busy indeed, as new rumors from 9to5Mac claim that it’ll also feature the new iPad mini 4 and the long-awaited 12.9-inch “iPad Pro.”

But don’t get too excited yet. While the huge iPad is expected to make an appearance on stage a week from now, it allegedly won’t land in customers’ hands until sometime in November. It’s currently thought that Apple might choose this later launch date out of a desire to give developers time to create specialized apps for the device. Indeed, there’s always a chance that Apple could reveal the device at a separate autumn event, as the list of products rumored for next week’s show is growing longer by the day and the company has been known to host two fall shows in the past.

Source: MacRumors

As for the iPad mini 4, in line with previous rumors, it’s expected to match the specs of the existing iPad Air 2 (but in a smaller package). If you want a new iPad Air, you’re apparently stuck with what’s on the market as there’s no indication that Apple plans to release a new version of the device before 2016.

Based on previous rumors, the “iPad Pro” will sport a 12.9-inch screen, a Force Touch-compatible stylus, an A9 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and possibly even USB 3.0 ports for users who want to hook up peripheral devices. There’s also some indication that the device will launch with iOS 9.1 installed rather than 9.0, which sits well with the new rumor of a November launch date.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: New iPod Lineup May Appear Next Week; New iOS 9 Keyboard Fixes Cap Issues

Today we’ve got a couple of juicy Apple news tidbits that could mean a lot to some folks out there. For one, against the expectations of almost everyone, Apple looks like it’s prepared to roll out a refresh for the iPod line as early as next week. In addition, Apple is finally going to fix a longstanding issue with the iOS keyboard.

Updated iPod Lineup Coming July 14, Sources Claim

We recently expressed surprise that Apple is still intent on giving the iPod some attention, judging from the appearance of new colors for existing products on certain promotional materials. But that’s not the half of it, as it turns out. According to sources who spoke with French site iGen.fr, Apple is actually on the verge of releasing updated units for the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle, and they could be here as soon as July 14.

If the report is true (and iGen.fr has a good track record in this regard), there will be a new iPod touch (“N102″) that will possibly have a 64-bit A-based processor. The new iPod nanos (“N31A”) and iPod shuffles (“N12D”), on the other hand, will only have new colors.

Fascinatingly, the sources who spoke with the site claim that the new units might, in fact, appear on July 14, which fits an earlier theory claiming that the date on the Calendar app in the publicity photos with the new colors provided clues as to when the new units would come out. Honestly, it’s hard to decide which is more cool — that users may have figured this out or that Apple thought to sneak it in in the first place.

 

Apple to Fix Keyboard Capitalization Issues in iOS 9

One of the most annoying things about using an iPhone has always been uncoding the mystery of whether the keyboard is prepared to use capital letters or not. It seems like a small problem, but it’s a frequent one for many of us.

It generally occurs because the letters on an iOS keyboard are in all caps, all the time, and often you can’t immediately tell if the Shift key is on because your thumb’s in the way. Then there’s the problem of remembering if the black arrow means the Shift key is on and if the white arrow means it’s off.

As reported by TechCrunch, that all goes away with the next iternation of Apple’s mobile operating system. As of iOS 9, the keyboard will show lowercase letters when it’s set to write lowercase letters, and it’ll show capital letters when it’s set to type capital letters. Sounds easy enough, right? You almost have to wonder why it took Apple so long.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: Apple Watch Companion App Details, iTunes Dumps Single of the Week

Thanks to some clever work from a developer who combed through the iOS 8.2 beta files, we now have some more information on what we can expect from the Apple Watch and how it will interact with our iPhones. In addition, Apple has apparently stopped offering its free “Single of the Week” on iTunes and it’s found a way to discourage abusers of the EU’s 14-day refund policy.

Apple Watch Companion App Yields New Details About Device

When word dropped that the latest iOS 8.2 beta contained references to an Apple Watch companion app, it seemed as though we might have to wait a few more weeks to see what the app involves. Not so, thanks to a new report from 9to5Mac based on code compiled by Irish developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

The report shows that, as expected, the Apple Watch “Companion” app will serve as a hub for both settings for the watch itself and for the apps it runs. (You might recall that the first apps for the device will need to rely on an iPhone 5 or above for many functions, although that’s expected to change in the future.)

The Apple Watch has a definite focus on fitness, and accordingly, the findings reveal that the device can be set to remind you to stand up at various intervals every hour and to let you know when you’ve reached goals for actions such as moving or standing. Reports are also available for personal milestones and weekly activities.

Apple also uses the centuries-old horology term “complications” to describe various functions on the watch’s face that have little or nothing to do with the actual time (and let’s admit it, the name just begs for abuse from Apple’s critics). Some “complications” include weather, stock quotes, and information on when the sun rises and sets.

The report is useful for confirming some hitherto fuzzy information about the device. It proves, for instance, that the Apple Watch will possess enough storage to let you play songs from the device itself, and that it won’t allow Apple Pay payments to be made with the device unless it’s in contact with skin.

9to5Mac’s report is chock-full of such tidbits, so be sure to check out the full thing here.

 

iTunes Ceases to Offer Free “Single of the Week”

According to a new report from Business Insider, Apple has apparently stopped offering the free iTunes “Single of the Week” that it’s offered every week since 2004. It’s tempting to think it’s a passive aggressive move on the company’s part in response to the backlash surrounding its gift of U2′s latest album.

The confirmation on file is a bit sketchy. Essentially, an Apple forum user named Bob Foss claims he contacted Apple to learn why the latest single wasn’t listed, and he was told by a representative that Apple decided to discontinue the practice. Foss has some good reasons as to why this is such a bad thing:

“Seems they don’t want people browsing the Store anymore. I told them that the free single each week got me to the Store and I usually bought a few songs. Now, there’s less reason to go. They’ve stopped the free single in other countries too.”

We’ll just have to take Foss’ word for it for now in the absence of any official statement from Apple, but it’s true that the tracks are no longer listed. It’s also true that Apple’s annual “12 Days of Christmas” special and its associated gifts of free music and apps was missing in action last year, which seems to indicate that Apple’s sick of giving away free stuff even for the holidays. What’s next, the removal of the free app of the week?

 

Apple Instates Safety Net Against EU’s 14-Day Refund Policy

The EU now has an initially attractive law that lets customers get a refund for any product as long as they request it within 14 days, but some of the implications of the law apparently weren’t thought out too well. If someone buys an app on the App Store and then decides they want a refund, for instance, they can get their money back and keep the app since it doesn’t magically disappear from their iPhone or iPad after the refund. You may no longer get updates, but that doesn’t matter for many, many apps.

Naturally this sets up fertile ground for abuse, and iDownloadBlog recounts the story of one person who was using it as a trial system or sorts, gaining back at least in refunds after spending around .

Now the user’s account is flagged, and he sees this message whenever he tries to download an app: “I acknowledge that if I download this app within fourteen days of tapping ‘Buy’, I will no longer be eligible to cancel this purchase.”

It’s quite legal, too. According to an exception in the UK’s version of the law, “You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right.” The one gray area is that there’s no clear way to know from the material given how Apple decides an account has been abusing its open refund privileges.

Apple (and presumably the developers) will continue to lose some money as a result of the kinks in the law, no doubt, but the exception should weed out the worst of the offenders.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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The 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, The Week of May 10

If you life webcomics then have we got a news item for you. And if you’re a big fan of streaming movies and YouTube, your life is about to get better, but if you’re looking to upgrade to Windows 8, you may have to wait a little on your iTunes. That and more in this week’s hot topics.     

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The 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, The Week of April 5

A pretty spread out bunch of news stories this week. Whether it’s the nation’s number four carrier picking up the iPhone at long last or the nation’s number one saying they could easily follow suit in getting rid of contracts, it’s all the news you missed this week while you were working or some other nonsense. So come on, Apple fans, get a load of the news of the week.  

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